some kind of this digital organ that sort of can go the way of the dodo bird eventually? >> guest: it is definitely not. it is extraordinarily modern, protean endlessly reinvented movement and it will always be around so long as there is a left demanding greater freedoms and equality. it will always be around so it is not a residual movement. this book is really a protest in that. >> host: whether it will and how much it will take on his way out remains to be seen in the last part of your part. it's the last one of our interview. thank you corey robin. is really been a pleasure sitting down with you. >> guest: thank you. ..
union was founded in the 1960's. it was the inevitable choice for this journalist because most of the 12 year existence appears to have been preparation for this moment. the controllers have such a long history of militancy between 1981 that it was not surprising in some ways that they became a first union to stage a carefully choreographed planned nationwide strike against the federal agency. and yet the journalist was puzzled that white-collar workers were what the journalist called a keen appreciation for the professionalism that workers like this would strike against the government. newspaper columnist jimmy breslin made a similar observation as he watched the strikers and their families gather on long island to rally
from two days after the strike began on august 5th, 1981. at precisely the moment they were about to be fired for defying a deadline sought by president ronald reagan to return to work. he wrote that the lament that they were supposed to be fired on the order of the president, these members of the suburban white america all meter traffic controllers and their wives and children became silent and now their fists shot up into the air in with the surprise columnist called a stokely carmichael salute. the 60's were a long run, he mused, but here come he wrote, quote, 13 years and more later suburbanite america finally catches up. here where people from north about longer island shooting their fists into the air in protest against the government.
>> book tv interviews former president bill clinton about his recent book back to work why we need smart government for a strong economy. >> president bill clinton, in your new book back to work you talk about fact the u.s. should get back in the future business. what do you mean by that? >> i mean we should have a strategy to build a future of shared prosperity and shared responsibility based on a cooperative relationship between a strong private economy and a smart government. i think this battle we've been in whether the government is the source of all of our problems and there is no such thing as a good or bad tax cut or
deregulation or good regulation has obscured what is going on out there in the world is we still of a lot of enormous and bandages in america but we lost ground relative to other countries and the young adults and college degrees and performance in standardized tests in the competitiveness of the health care system what we get for what we pay and our ability to generate many factors and pointed and ability to export in our research and development capabilities in the areas we know are growing in the years ahead and i think it's because we have been asking the wrong questions. how can we build an economy of the broadly shared prosperity. what does the government have to do and private sector, how can they work together. >> what happened in 1990? he spent a lot of time in your book or i'm sorry, 1980 and the last 30 years what was the fundamental change?
>> president carter had a very successful first two years in office. a lot of people for not because i can look at the midterm elections his party did quite well and we had about 10 million jobs if we would like to have that back now. but at the end of his term we had stagflation, high inflation, stagnant growth, problems with managing our oil crisis and the government was slow and president ronald reagan the elected under the government and then he said let me cut all the taxes i will cut off the life support of government and we will shrink government but it turned of neither the white house or both parties in congress really wanted to shrink the government very much so we began to work to run a systematic structural deficits for the first time in history, and it was the beginning, with some developments in the private sector of a slow erosion of our competitive position but if we
were going to have tough times any way because other countries where people just as smart as we are and working as hard as we were going to start rising so we had to be on our game to maintain the position any way, but by taking our off the ball we kept doing what works in a modern highly interdependent world having the same argument we had in 2010 all over again that the government is the source of the problems i think is cost of the patrols would like to do is talk about why the strategy didn't work and why would we did in the nineties worked better and why it will work again and why i essentially supported the positions president obama has taken on energy and other areas because i think it is taking us in the direction we should be going. >> when you talk about solutions komondor solution to how we can get the economy back, you talk quite a bit about the some symbols commission and some of their recommendations.
if you had been president in that condition and had come out with this report what would you have done with it? >> i believe what i would have done is to say this is a great piece of work in a think that in general it is going in there a direction. i think we should use it as a blueprint and work off of it. i don't agree with everything in the report flexible i say in the book that while i agree with him that we are taxing at 35% and we are the only major country still taxing overseas income which is keeping it from coming back here our tax take is only 23% so i would like to see bottoming the tax base and having to get as close to 23% rate which is what we are taxing at any way as possible but i would lead the tax credit and a. in other words, if we use it as a free-market we can always
change it. they have a proposal on social security that gave more money to lower income seniors which is a really important because as you saw from the report that came out today on the poverty statistics poverty is actually going up among of lower income seniors because notwithstanding medicare they still have sycophant helpless pocket health care costs. so i like the social security adrift. on the other hand of the economy were to produce more growth than the estimate i think we should try to balance the budget sooner than they would bringing it back into the balancing 2035. on that score they are pretty conservative. but they do know that we have to swallow the retirement of the baby boomers and they have to assume in their estimates that we cannot bring health care costs back in line with inflation. i think we can, which it's hard to assume if you are running a
commission like that passed the test. >> one of your 46 recommendations we take in creating tax profits from overseas. when we talk to policy makers everyone seems to support that. why has that come not become policy? >> for two reasons. reason number one is in 2004 president bush -- let me back up and say they'll wall in america is if you are in american corporation affirmed money overseas. if you bring it back to america to reinvest, whether it is in the new equipment or employees or, you know, pay raises, whenever you bring it back for, you owe the american tax whenever you pay overseas. every other major country is gone to a territorial system which means they let people bring their money back without that tax.
as a result a lot of the money gets parked overseas and eventually will be invested overseas. but in fairness in 2004 when president bush tried this with the congress and taxed the 5.4%, the three companies that repatriated the largest amount of money not only didn't create any jobs in america and put all the money into the executive compensation, they eliminated about 30,000 jobs. my answer to that is i think the president should ask the republicans to work with the corporate tax reform and the democrats. i think the goal should be to get to read as close to the talks take as possible which is 23% which would mean you would have fewer people paying less than 20 which i think is not acceptable. that is what the average american pays. while doing that i would let
them repatriated the following way to avoid the problems we had in 2004. the same deal on that that the president has made on the payroll tax. i would say if you can document you have added to the net employment within the portion you spend doing that is not subject to tax and bring it back right now. if you want to do whatever you want with the money you have to pay the long term capital gain for 18% of 5.4 and we will take that money and fund american's share of the infrastructure and then open up to americans to invest in by buying the bond to build america and open up to the foreign investors and opened up to the sovereign function of other countries and let america joined the ranks of other wealthy countries that are using the the private and public funds to modernize their infrastructure. and so that is one problem we had a bad experience. the other is the joint tax committee is inclined to say in
2004 you can do it now the $80 billion over the long run. they shouldn't say that anymore. now that every other country changed their system we are not getting the 80 dillinger and we might as well get the money back now and invest it and put america back to work. >> also in your book president clinton look up the talk about executive compensation. she think it needs to be regulated? >> no, i don't, because to take a look at it by passing along a 93 in the economic plan to limit the tax deductibility of compensation. we amended its to 11 million a year. we conduct a million dollars a year and inadvertently i might have contributed it has been destabilizing i think which is
paying executives they can defer cashing in until it rises in the value and the problem with that is it reinforces the stockholders are more important sticklers and corporations than employees than the customers and the communities and from the 1930's when a lot of work corporate law was made up through the mid 70's corporations thought to be in the state that got certain preferences like limited liability in return from which they have obligations to the shareholders, employees, customers and communities, then starting in the late 70's and going through the last 30 years we created this environment which the shareholders can't we more than the employees on the customers of the communities, and the irony of that is the
people with the biggest stake in the long-term profitability have the least influence. the people with the biggest shake in the short-term profitability are companies that have the lowest influence so i think the government policy should try to rebalanced that. if that happens i think he would have more corporations run like nucor and i dhaka out in their water they are trying to take care of the employees, too. >> president clinton, you looked at in your book as well when you're talking about the commission you also talk about how perhaps we should be moving in that direction. >> i think over the long run the virtues are as follows, number one -- excuse me, you can structure it to be progressive so it doesn't fall of the necessities of the lower income people. number two, it's really good for
exports because the last level of the tax which is basically a leah tax on various steps in the production, the last level doesn't fall on a product that is sold in other countries and the last level does fall lawn products that are sold from other countries here so it's one thing you can do to help that does not violate any international trade law. second, it prefers investment over consumption so it's more oriented toward the future than the present and that is something we have to do in america. so i think that that is something i think we will have to move towards but it's virtually impossible to do now with middle american incomes declining as against inflation in the cost of living, and with this debt specter hanging over us in the future and with the urgent need to create jobs now. i do believe that if we can succeed in the corporate tax reform we can take a look at the
individual tax reform as a sense of the commission recommends that we should take a look at whether some or all of those taxes could be supplemented or replaced by that. >> do you think that the congressional deficit reduction or super committee should look at the fundamental reform of the tax system? and what do you think of the deficit reduction committee structuring to them? >> i think that structure is the only practical one with any chance of coming out with a program that will provide cover for democrats to vote for the things they don't like and republicans to vote for the things they don't like. they seem determined so far to do with the president recommended and what was reflected in the first budget deal made last december which is not to have a lot of budget cuts or tax increases on this economy. even the presidents surcharge on
the people in my income group to pay for some of the things we need to do wouldn't trigger to 2013. so why haven't given up on that. it's tough because if you want to get to a million .5, excuse me, 1.5 trillion it's hard to get there without any revenue at all unless you can bring health costs more closely in line with inflation and the best thing to do that as i point out in this book are changing of the delivery system and those are hard to, quote, score. president reagan signed a bill he worked with the democratic congress on, i signed a bill worked with the republican congress on to save money in medicare and medicaid. the bill president reagan signed signings 50% more than was estimated to the first year and eventually 50% more. the bill i signed actually saved 50% more the first year and i
don't claim the full credit for that. we work together democrats and republicans to figure out what will work, but the point is i'm convinced there are tons of things that can be done that what not interrupt the quality-of-care will leave people feeling their health care has been cut and bring this inflation rate down, but it's hard to get a congressional committee to, quote, scored it because you can't know in advance exactly how much money is involved. >> this is president bill clinton's fourth book, back to work why we need smart government for the strong economy. mr. president, in this book you refer quite often to andrew holstein's next book of the american economy. >> it is a good book and americans who are pessimistic should read it because you will get you out of your pessimist on. it's good in two ways. first it shows that there are places in america that are roaring into the future with confidence.
secondly, it describes what they do so that you can imagine where you live adopting some of that and putting an end where you live. not everybody can be silicon valley. not everybody can be around mit. not everyone can have 100 assimilation companies the way orlando thus. i was their last night talking about it not everybody can be the center of genomic research the way san diego is. but everybody can do something. when we get a global initiative meeting for the united states last summer, a company called on shore said they would create a thousand jobs in missouri that had been devastated by the tornado by providing services that previously used to be outsourced to other countries in a smaller community and more rural setting and 12,000 more jobs in the next few years.
those are the kind of things we need to look at some people read the whole book it will, you know, help to break their pessimism. >> if you were president and you had the opportunity to be in curvature in the chief how would you make a to that of the ipad is manufactured in the united states? what policies would you say? >> i don't know that we can now because apple has invested a lot of money in their infrastructure , but in general i think what we ought to do is to look at the overall wage structure which is rising in china, and then you have to add to that of the chinese products are going to be made there and sold in america you have to look at the freight cost, you have to look at the productivity of the work force and not just the wages, look at where the material comes from, and i would be analyzing all of the high and
manufacturing being done in the world today, not just with the ipad and figure out which of those could be made in america if we had good generous research and development tax credit if they could have their lab on site with the the manufacturing, and then my organize it instead of the tax incentives to do that. for the simple, if the chinese want to solar and wind john so bad that another $34 million in country training, free land, 20 year tax holiday. the your determined to hold on to this house key to the 21st century manufacturing. we don't have to do that much because we've got great the venture-capital, because we have a lot of laboratories doing this work, because our capacity for sober and when the generation is just staggering. we rank first or second in the world and the ability to do that. north dakota alone can generate enough electricity for 25% of
the use in america. from the wind, if we had a national grid and you could feed the power to where the people are where the wind blows or where the sun shines. that's what i would do. i would design a program around the kind of good jobs that we have the best chance of getting. >> stevan more in his review of your book today in "the wall street journal" lamented what he said was you go from being a new democrat to back to big government person and this book is all about the big government coming back with a roar. what is your response to that? >> it's not true. i mean, you know, when i was president, as i pointed out, we spent less than 20% of gdp, we spent about less than 19% of gdp and we taxed less than 20% of
gdp. both at or under the post world war to leverage. when i was a governor we had the second lowest tax burden in the country. we've raised taxes to fund education and economic development incentives and lower taxes to provide tax incentives to create jobs and to reduce the income tax burden. i got rid of the income tax of 25% of people. that's not true, but i do what i want to do where we would disagree is he would like to just keep on cutting the government and think everything would be wonderful. you look at this book a call for the public-private partnership and infrastructure. it's nothing america has ever done. i have no objection to privatizing certain things, but on the other hand, if you look at the facts it's not public versus private it is what works best. for this and we have a privatized health care financing system that in 2009 in the
deficit reduction health insurance premiums so much under the cost of and that the health insurance profits went up 50% and 5 million people lost their health insurance. 3.5 million of them went on medicaid because they had no place else to go. our government program, so the policies that he would support our increasing the government as maintenance and so i believe that -- i don't think it is a public-private thing. we have to have a cooperative attitude. i think a lot of things the private sector does we better than the government will ever do. i, for example, like i prefer tax credits to the direct government subsidies, taking the particular companies to win and lose, but i like section 1603 which i talk about a lot because it gives the equivalent of a tax credit to start-ups so that we encourage them as well as existing businesses.
i know what he would like to see as continuing to shrink the federal government more or less indiscriminately. i have no objection. if you remember when i was president we had the smallest federal government since dwight eisenhower's last year smallest percentage of the work force since franklin roosevelt was president. i wouldn't mind doing that again, but i think there are some things the government has to do. government is very good at aggregating capital for modern infrastructure, for example, but i think we need more private investment. so i would like to see a debate and this committee could do this, you asked about the committee. they could say okay look here's what the government has to do, national security, help people with the no fault of their own can support themselves. we made a decision that in the retirement years people should have a decent standard of living. we have a whole thing that supports economic development
and if anything we have to do more because our competitors are. same thing with scientific research and the expansion of access and same thing with education. so what we need to do is to identify those things which government should do and do them well at no greater cost than is absolutely necessary. and then figure out how we can have closer partnerships. of the government is over address to congress you have 46 policy recommendations in this book. is this book consistent with that? >> i never said the era was over. what i meant was i thought the era in which the big government, bureaucracies would deliver services and on the industrial model it was over. keep in mind when i was
president of the social security had maceration one in national award for customer service. we began to let people file their tax returns electronically i tried to simplify the government and make it less bureaucratic. we got over 16,000 pages of government regulations on people i think we should continue to try to modernize and streamline the government but if there's something we need the government to do because we have a generally shared interest the market won't fix like clean air, clean water, seafood, or because we have to do it to become competitive new manufacturing jobs in high-tech areas, then we ought to do it and do it well. >> finally could you have written this book while in office? >> well it deals with a lot of the things i've been concerned about since before i started running for president and clearly the dramatics of the income inequality and the
shrinking of the middle class prospects, which i was concerned about. but i know more about it now and i think now we have more historical evidence. we have the 12 years before i was president, the eight years after and then the effort to struggle out of the financial crisis with president obama before he got into the congress. so i couldn't have written this exactly the this book is consistent with my philosophy. >> we are here the new york historical society with president bill clinton talking about his book back to work. there is an event tonight with chelsea clinton. >> she's cui to ask questions about my book. i hope i can remember what's in it. [laughter] one of the great signs of success in life is when your children know more than you do about everything. i'm sure that will be on display tonight. >> thank you for your time. we'll be covering the event with
chelsea clinton. [inaudible conversations] >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. on behalf of all of my colleagues at the publishing group i would like to welcome you to the new york historical society for what promises to be a memorable evening of conversation. tonight's conversation will reach across the generations. we use that term when they are interviewed of the young and we will focus on something of interest to everyone in this room, collective future. the american dream is a powerful
concept of us being derailed people are worried about their jobs, worried about the economy, worried that we have lost competitive edge and concerned that the american safety net of will not be there for them when they retire. my good friend, president clinton has written a new book that addresses these concerns. in back to work the president rights, and i quote, i came of age believing that no matter what happened, i would always be able to support myself. it became a crucial part of my identity and it drove me to spend a good portion of my adult life trying to give others the same chance. president clinton goes on to say
it's heartbreaking to see so many people trapped in a web of idle debt and doubt. we have to change that. we have to get america back in the future business. president clinton rises to face them and the dedicated public servants will be joined on stage tonight by one of our brightest young girl citizens also a champion of public service, chelsea clinton. chelsea clinton is a graduate of stanford, has earned a master's from colombia and is currently pursuing a doctorate at oxford. she is also working with the clintons foundation and the clinton global one initiative. her recent professional and academic work has focused on improving access to health care,
equal rights and on education for children. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming president clinton and chelsea clinton. [applause] >> thank you. before we begin i should acknowledge the fact that i am certainly not an unbiased interviewer. i am unapologetically on biased towards my father. we don't always agree, but i certainly always learn from him, whether in conversation or the pleasure of reading drafts of his book and then finally getting a hard copy myself last
week. i think it would be a good place to start where he left off saying that you wrote this book largely because you worry that for us the american dream had become opaque and lost so i think it would be helpful to hear why at this point in time you were compelled to write this book. it is brief, it is distilled but it is action oriented. >> i first was inclined to do it after the 2010 election because i went out and did them on more than 130 defense and i wasn't particularly surprised about the outcome for the reasons that i state in the book. people tend to hire democrats when things are messed up. if you think about so they hire
us to fix things and they didn't feel fixed. also, the american people are always so how deeply ambivalent about the role of government and they have been from the beginning. keep in mind, we were born in reaction to the unaccountable government power. i just had my picture taken with a stacked, imposed by the british government under king george it's the first time i think it's ever left the parliamentary archives in london it is an exhibit that will be your the new york historical society through april. so we don't want to much government, but we want enough and what is enough and not too much is the source of the constant debate, and so all of
this stuff happened and what bothered me is the lesson was almost completely fact free, and that is not good for us. and then i started thinking about the last 30 years of the american politics how the anti-government paradigm lead us into one blind alley after another after arguing about whether we should always be against more taxes and always be against more regulations and the government what mess up the two. instead of going to the end and working backwards, how do we build a country that is a country that promotes shared prosperity and new jobs and opportunities in the broad based educational opportunities for people in the 21st century and then working back from that how do you get that? if you look around the world of the most successful countries they have both a strong economy and a smart and effective government and they work
together. so that is what propelled me to write this. and i have been saving all of these articles that i've gotten out of the newspapers, sites, magazines since 2007, since the recession started about the economy and about other things to all the books i've read and i finally decided i should just try to distill it and say here's a political economic history of america the last 30 years and here's what i feel we should do now to get our country back in the business. and what i was thinking about i thought it would be good thing if every american who cared could have a slim volume with the enough facts that would prove the case about how we got where we are and then i could make the argument about what i thought we should do going forward. >> one of the things that you clearly articulate in the book is what in your estimation is just the right amount of government and with the role of the government should be.
one thing you don't articulate in the book is what should the role of the private sector be and what do you think is just the right amount of engagement and action particularly at moments like these by the private sector and certainly i would like to hear you answer the former and the latter so there's a sort of clear and coherent vision of what should be rendered into government and what should be rendered under the private sector. >> i think in general the private sector showed do the work of the country. basically the private sector is better that competition, building businesses support, hiring people, creating jobs. the government should set the rules the boundaries, how we have clean air, how do we have safe, clean water, how we have
seafood, how do we produce energy in a way that maximizes the positives and pecked and preserves the environment and should do it in a way that leads the largest number of questions for the private sector as possible and still get the big results. when i was president we had 43 million more americans breathing clean air and had to pass the chemical right to know law which favors transparency but we tried to set up a system where the private sector was incentivized to meet these objectives at the lowest possible cost in the shortest amount of time, but it changes over time. we privatize some of our management nuclear stockpiles, not to bomb making materials.
over time there will be more functions the government used to do that might be done by the private sector just as the government should do things that help us to get into new areas of economic opportunity or deal with new problems that are broadly shared the the market won't solve, but i will just give you won a civil of something that was done in 1980 that is probably more relevant today than it has been in decades. in 1980 with a bipartisan majority the congress passed lahoud president carter signed which provided for the federally funded research to the university's the result in commercially valuable findings to be licensed to the private sector on terms determined by the university because it was recognized that the private sector would be able to make the most of the commercial
development and most colleges couldn't run their own businesses, should be starting businesses and doing it. that transfer system has worked pretty well for three years and one of the things that i argued in my book is that all of the colleges in the country there during this, and i have a young cousin who does this work at texas a&m university and i love talking to him -- >> he does get a shout out in the book. >> yes. i've got to take care of my family, right? [laughter] the the best transfer program is probably mit's because they never take any money. they only take stock in the new company. they will give a professor a year off to work in the company, but professor must promise after a good year to build in a professional business person to
run the company. and they've got a lot of other things. but it works really well and there are some of the models. but in general i think that this question is something we ought to always be constantly asking ourselves should this be privatized and should not? but if you have a doctrinaire position each way, you might end up with a bad decision. i will give you another mix sample. the united states is virtually the only big country that does almost all of its large infrastructure with 100% public funding. other countries don't do that. so the president actually has asked the congress to develop an infrastructure bank proposal that has bipartisan support in the senate to have the government ft infrastructure bigot moderate amount of money see ten or 15 dillinger and i suggested the book ways to get
it and then allow the bank to sell bonds to allow american citizens to invest in it and also to take money from overseas interests but also from sovereign will funds from the government all over the world because the infrastructure projects yielded a very high rate of return and i think we have been a little too hi balance. we shouldn't be the only country in the world afraid to take private sector money to build our infrastructure, and i don't just mean roads and bridges. i'm talking about, you know, ladies and electrical grid. faster broadband connections all over the country. it should bother you soft real's broadband download speeds are four times a farce and so having good government policy doesn't preclude some things being done by and with the private sector.
>> one government policy that you discuss in different places and i know that you are personally advocating is the extension of the 1603 tax credits which is particularly germane to the title of the book back to work, because as you articulate in your book, roughly a billion dollars that is invested in the new plant yields about 187 jobs and a billion dollars invested in building retrofits yields between in order of seven to 8,000 new jobs. so maybe you could talk about the grain tax credit and why is set in 2011 and sort of coming back to the first part of your book the political history and how those of us in the room could try to help change that dynamic for 2012.
>> when the president and the congress were debating after the 2010 elections whether the bush tax cuts would be extended because of the recession and whether it would be a bad idea to raise anybody's taxes in this economy, one of the things republicans said its tax cuts are always wonderful in a down economy, but spending cuts don't hurt at all which is self evident like crazy. there is really no difference from the macroeconomic point of view as our friends in the u.k. are finding out when they went from the austerity response to the current circumstance. one of the things they wanted to get rid of was the 1603 tax credit and they said it was a spending program. this is the kind of argument ought to be held in the seminary over some obscure provision of the scripture.
but you can be the judge. the republicans say we are getting rid of 1603 it is a spending problem is not a tax cut and it is but it isn't. when the congress did things like loan guarantees for the new energy companies like the infamous solyndra guarantee it was actually adopted during the russian administration signed by president bush and support of the time buy almost all of the republicans on the energy committee, and it's hard sometimes to pick winners and losers. that isn't what 1603 does. 1603 recognizes that a lot of people building solar and wind installations are starting companies so if you give them for 30% tax credit that you ordinarily get someone for building this new factory it would be worthless to them because they have no income to claim the credit against.
so what 1603 does is basically give them the cash equivalent of the tax credit if they are a startup. if you don't like solar and wind energy and you want to keep the oil depletion allowance or the average tax credits for the traditional energy you can make that argument, but a very significant number of the new solar and wind projects have used 1603. so my argument is about to be extended because we have got thousands of more facilities in solar and wind power which are becoming more economical every time. the price drops about 30% for solar and wind every time we double the capacity and solar in particular has had the technological what chances in the last three years. ironically one of the reasons
solyndra went down because the technology, other technologies got cheaper sastre fannin anybody figured and took them out of the competitive mix. so i like 1603 coming and i think it would be continued because i think we would be supporting start-ups as well as the insisting companies and a very significant percentage of the last 20 years have come not just from small businesses but from small businesses that were 5-years-old or younger. so this is the kind of thing that i think, you know, my argument is if we say where do we want to go with this country we want to build a shared prosperity and be competitive and then back up from that and say how do we get there what is the government supposed to do and private sector supposed to do? if you do that instead of saying the government, no government you come out and say 1603 is a good deal and we ought to keep doing it. >> since you mentioned the end of 2010, i want to give you an
opportunity to sort of repeat something that he said to me earlier which is the one part of your book where you feel like you paid the president around the debt ceiling. that has been in the coverage of what. spry i was upset and i didn't know whether it was the white house or the congress that resisted raising the debt ceiling in 2010 after we lost the election. >> when we still had the majority. >> because i knew the congress was in november of 2010 and i knew we waited until january the republicans would drive a very hard bargain. and so, i said in a very kind of muted way that for reasons that were still unclear to me this didn't happen, and gene sperling actually sent me an e-mail that said who worked for me and said as an honest person we tried. we didn't make a big deal lot of
it because the main subject was the bush era of tax cuts going to be extended, but i'm trying to force myself to say once a day either i don't know or i was wrong. [laughter] because i think it would be therapeutic if everybody in washington did that. and so, i want to be as good as. here's something i was wrong about. since raising the debt ceiling, simply ratified the decision congress has already made to spend money, and since the budget is the only thing the senate votes on that is not subject to a filibuster, i thought the debt ceiling vote wasn't subject to a filibuster, and i was wrong. so gene sperling send me a message that said a senator mcconnell said he was going to filibuster unless we agree right
than to halt the budgets so it turns out he couldn't raise the debt ceiling, and i was wrong. it didn't hurt too bad. [laughter] that's one way to get less in the logical politics if people find errors they make. >> moving out of washington. one of the things you do frequently in the book is to cite examples of where you think this sort of appropriate partnership and shared responsibility between the government and private sector is working at the state level maybe you could talk a bit about your theory of that and share some of the it sybil's particularly from the time as governor of arkansas sort of what worked then and what has continued to work and not work subsequently in arkansas. >> well, first i think americans are used to people with the state and local level.
hustling business, trying to save business and expand business, trying to locate business and it is largely a bipartisan activity undertaken perhaps with varying levels by officials but one reason i was able to stay governor for the dozen years and never got bored with the job and loved it is the whole economic development aspect of it. and the interesting thing is in most every state in the country although it's gotten more partisan now since 2010 but i think that will settle down it is largely a bipartisan activity. and so why try to cite some areas in the book for example to give you one just practical example. there's a long section in the book about what i would like to see done to clear the mortgage debt more quickly.
and i guess i should back up and say these kind of financial crashes take a slickly five to ten years to get over and if you have a mortgage component to push out towards ten years we should be trying to beat that. we can't do it in my opinion. even if we adopt time for the president's plan i think there's a lot of good ideas in there, but 1 million or 2 million jobs according to the analysis if you want to have to under 40,000 jobs a month i think we have urged to under 27,000 for eight years. if you want that you have to flush this a bit and get bank lending going again. and so, kenneth at harvard recommends since some people said well but if we lower the mortgage rates, if we bring the mortgage on to the value of the
house, then the people that are owed the mortgages will lose money who's going to compensate them? and what is it going to be? as suggested that the banks are the people ultimately hold the mortgages instead of letting them down, just cut them in half by to get the ownership position in the house so that when the house is ultimately sold the people that were issued the mortgage will own their mortgage and share in the profit and you get the same practical result you no longer have the bad debt on the books and the homeowner has a mortgage he or she can pay. i sit in the book i know this will work because when i was governor in the 80's and our farmers got in trouble, we had then hundreds of small state chartered banks who didn't want to foreclose. they knew they were just having
a couple bad years and they couldn't pay their farm loans off and they didn't want to take the position, so we allowed the banks we changed the law and allow them to take an ownership position and then gave the farmer an absolute buy back right to take the form back in the title once they could pay off the farm loan. that is the sort of practical thing that you would see done at the state level. the republican governor of south dakota i will never forget called me on the phone and said, he said this is unbelievable i wish i would have thought about it. i said i will but you know that your neighbor in north dakota, which was more republican than south dakota is the only place in the country that has a state-owned bank and they've been doing this since the great depression. that's how i got the idea. [laughter] but you get the idea. it doesn't matter whether we were right or wrong. we are talking about how to keep farmers on their land, how to
avoid putting our banks in trouble. nobody thought of it. even after the beginning of all of this fiber partisan era in the 80's where i represented the governors or the republican negotiating the welfare reform bill with the ronald reagan white house in '87 and '88 and i went to the signing on the white house lawn and i had a republican counterpart and democratic counterparts and we worked with the committees and the democratic chairman and the republican minority leader and the white house and there was never politics the whole time. we were always talking about how this is going to work and how it will affect people. what will we do? then when president bush was in office, i represented the democrats and we wrote the national education goals and i got invited to the state of the union address with my republican counterpart. we stayed up all night at the university writing these goals. all we talked about is what
would work. we need that again. every time an election rolls around it turns out we still disagree with each other enough to have a heck of a good election but when it wasn't going on, we actually thought we were supposed to go to work for you. god forbid, right? so i could give you lots of other examples of things, these kind of economic strategies that have been developed. andrew with did a good thing, organized new york in the ten regions and of the legislature to set aside some money and the reasons are competing with it to get this cash i think it is 2 million. and they have to come up with a regional development plan and new york is a very diverse state, so i went the other day
to albany to meet with the thousands of people that represent the regions coming up with the plans, and i am telling you even those that don't get the money are going to be way ahead because they are doing something they never had to do before. they are talking about what they want to do and how they are going to do it instead of having some idle political debate. the federal government ought to be doing this. we ought to be -- do you want to give the chinese and the germans the whole market? even though we have greater capacity just in the domestic demand and much better venture-capital and the price is dropping precipitously? and if you don't, what should we do about it, but should the government to, what should the private sector do? on the same thing with building retrofits. the governor just signed a great bill in new york i think it is called on bill accounting but
here is the bottom line. if you retrofit your home or office building, you can get it financed that way and then pay it off only from your utility savings because they will just add it to your utility bill. so it is a just say yes system and will create ten or 12,000 jobs in new york and put billions of dollars into this economy within a matter of months as soon as it is fully implemented so those are the kind of things i think we ought to do more of. >> having conversations like these and writing books or advocating, do you think this is the niche the simple society should build in this having discussed with the rule is in many ways this book they to duff c. jihadi america you